Vision Group not responsible for offensive chalking

I’m sure by now many folks have seen the artistic expression displayed near the Student Union and Education buildings. Many of the phrases include things like “hug a queer,” “hug a dyke/fag” and “hug a brown/colored person.” Thus, many may have come to the conclusion that a student organization that promotes education and awareness of GLBT+ issues is responsible for the chalking around campus.

However, Vision, BGSU’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer, intersex, questioning and straight supportive undergraduate student organization had nothing to do with the chalking of campus. While it is true that the organization does promote activism and education, the improper usage of minority slang is neither encouraged nor promoted by the organization.

We regret that harmful, derogatory slang was used in such a manner to offend people on this campus or visiting this campus — and that many of the terms used were offensive and we hope that whoever it was that did the chalking would understand that. We feel that it is important that minority groups do unite in order to promote awareness and equality for all — and as a GLBT+ organization, we feel that issues of gender, sexuality and sexual orientation do affect people across their life-span, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religious affiliation. Thus, one could pull a positive message from the terms induced to provide a positive message, “hug someone/something.” In a society ridden with anger, mistrust and hate for anyone perceived as “different” by the dominant culture, perhaps a reminder to be kind to one another is in fact needed!

Even so, we do not condone the graffiti displayed on campus nor the derogatory slang. No group should actively encourage and condone hate speech toward one another. How can we learn and grow if all we do is slander one another?